Taiah has drawn others to her since she was very little. It may be partly because she is the baby of the family, but it is definitely a gift from God. She has a special Spirit in her and has one of those “old thoughtful souls” that touches you when you spend time with her. As my older daughter, Teressa, says she makes you feel good just by being around her. We adore Taiah in this family. She brings laughter, beauty, fun,creativity, and vulnerability to us. She has taught us how to be more compassionate and sympathetic to others in our family and outside.
At eight years of age she was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever that ravage her tiny little body with an arthritic form. It took months to get a diagnosis. She lost ability to walk on her own for more than a few steps. Her dad and I choked back tears purchasing a cane to help her walk. Stairs were a huge challenge for her weakened muscles. Teressa 11 years old at that time would take the initiative and carry her from room to room or up the stairs to watch TV. Taiah spent a lot of time in bed reading and drawing. A sketch pad became a constant companion just like Montay. We would love to see what she was drawing and it was a source of joy for all of us. With God’s help Taiah gained movement back and with lots of therapy her muscles regained strength.
As she drew pictures, people would stop and talk to her and if you admired her work she was known to tear it from her book and gift it to you. Grandma Dennis always made sure she had plenty of drawing pads and pencils. On a flight back from visiting grandparents Taiah drew a beautiful picture of a bird for the flight attendant. The woman was so surprised and truly felt honored to receive. Taiah made her day and didn’t really even know it. When her Dad was sick she drew some of her last pictures before grief set in. One was of her and him holding hands. The other was a crane because Ted had sent her a post card with one on it. Taiah had a hard time drawing when Ted got sick and stopped. I think we all shut down in different ways and similar.
I have been reading my prayer letters when Ted was first hospitalized and I am struck by the personal presence of God. I am seeing how thankful our hearts were and moving forward and outward. I think with Ted’s death so much just became still and quiet like a pause button was pushed in our lives. I am beginning to feel and see that 2 1/2 years later the play button has been pushed again. One of the best things for a mother is seeing her children thrive!
Taiah is drawing more regularly. This summer she drew lungs like a flower pot with flowers coming out. It was wonderful like she is breathing again! She found her contagious smile in Turkey and hasn’t stopped smiling. I knew she was suppose to go to Turkey just had no idea it was about finding her smile. God does have humor and still surprises me! She began taking drawing classes this fall and the penciled drawing of the girl above was her second project.
I thought about blogging because of this charcoal ash drawing Taiah completed. She used a tray of loose charcoal ash, a paper towel, and a solid piece of charcoal to create this drawing of fruit. She said how difficult with the ash and just control and to create from the ash-Ugh! She made me think of Scripture and how God promises to take our ashes and make something beautiful. Isaiah 61-the whole chapter is great, but here are the verses I was thinking upon: “To comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
I am so visual and love that it took Taiah’s literal charcoal ash drawing for me to partly see what God is up to. I am grateful for His healing and allowing me to witness the ashes to beauty in the girls.
I hope that if you are found in a place of despair or pain that you will seek the One who can heal and help you. He will restore and make All Things New! We think upon Romans 8:28 all the time–“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”